Galwegians retain Connacht crown over local rivals Corinthians

Galwegians claimed this year’s Connacht Senior Cup honours over traditional city rivals Corinthians on Saturday.

Defending their title at Cloonacauneen, the Glenina outfit had to come from behind before comfortably retaining the cup by 31- 17.

Although Galwegians were first off the mark when Jason East claimed the opening try after strong driving from his pack, Corinthians went on to score three unconverted first-half tries for a 15 - 11 half-time lead.

The first came from Bryan Wilson who touched down out wide before lock Gary Warde added the second try after good work from his front row colleague.

Although man of the match Tadgh Leader converted a penalty in the 30th minute after the home side were pinged for offside, they conceded a third try when flanker Sean Gerrity claimed the line-out and sent tighthead prop Finlay Bealham in unopposed.

Crucially Galwegians cut the deficit when Leader converted a second penalty and, when Corinthians’ captain Finn Gormley was sinbinned by referee David Connolly, Galwegian fullback converted easily in front of posts.

The contest turned in Galwegians’ favour thereafter as their superior pack dominated the breakdown area. And, with the wind at their backs, they were able to keep Corinthians pinned inside their own half.

Galwegians added another try when Anthony Ryan capitalised from the pack’s unstoppable maul, and before the end centre Brian Murphy finished the scoring in style after a fine kick and chase. Leader added two conversions and two penalties for a personal tally of 16 points.

Galwegians will now advance to the All Ireland Bateman Cup and will play Leinster Cup holders St Mary’s at home on Saturday Jan 19.

Connacht domestic results: Heineken Junior Cup, Portumna 7 UCG 10; Ballyhaunis 8 Ballinasloe 17; Buccaneers 41 Ballinrobe 0. J1A, Tuam 28 Corinthians 10; Monivea 11 Westport 6. Ulster Bank League Div 1B, Buccaneers 25 UCD 20.


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